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Devin O.'s Profile > 
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Acer K272HULbmiidp Black 27
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: -Panel is of good quality, came with no dead pixels and has very little if any bleed.
-Using the "Warm" preset is the best way to get close to proper color calibration for this monitor, without special hardware. Colors are nice to the eyes, nothing feels amiss.
-Matte screen coating helps with glare somewhat, unfortunately not as well as my old screen but I traded it for better color quality.
-Real buttons, I was getting sick of my old Acer's touch activated buttons.
-Same aspect ratio as 1080p so you can still watch 1080p movies in fullscreen without black bars.

Cons: -Speakers started making a hissing noise, had to figure out how to turn the volume down to 0 to make them stop. Thought it was the monitor itself making the noise.
-Large, round stand feels too big for the monitor, and is too tall to put a keyboard over. It comes almost an inch off the desk, and looks a bit odd.
-The stand also has a channel design cut into the front, making it very difficult to clean but also doesn't look quite as bad when it's dirty as a flat surface would.
-Shiny black plastic everywhere. Yep, that's never going to be clean ever again. As with almost all other shiny black plastic, it scratches just by swiping a clean cloth or finger across it. I desperately wish this monitor was made with matte black plastic.

Other Thoughts: This monitor is a great deal for $400... I wouldn't pay $500 for it unless you really needed the extra screen space. Displayport cable included is barely long enough to reach from the top of my desk to the bottom side (its only about 3'), so plan on getting a new one if you buy this monitor.

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ThinkPad W540 (20BG0011US) Mobile Workstation Intel Core i7 4700MQ (2.40GHz) 8GB Memory 500GB HDD NVIDIA Quadro K1100M 15.6
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: -Sufficiently sturdy construction
-2 USB 3.0 ports, one on each side of the laptop
-Great battery life
-Powerful CPU
-Reasonably good Quadro K1100M
-High quality keyboard is easy to type with.
-Keyboard layout is mostly normal, with a few oddities such as a Print Screen button and the FN key outside of CTRL.

Cons: -Product keys for Windows 8 are no longer printed on the laptop. This is a MASSIVE step backwards and it does not automatically activate Windows, it ONLY works with the Lenovo recovery disks.
-Absolute NIGHTMARE to reinstall. Took 4.5 hours on a Samsung EVO SSD using Lenovo system recovery disks. Installing Windows 8.1 from Microsoft's disk took 12 minutes.
-Neither one installed all the drivers necessary for operation.
-Sound card regularly makes loud popping sounds on startup, resuming from standby, and after a period of time when no sound is being produced. Poor quality audio codec installed, does not even have noise cancellation for the built in microphone!
-No MIC IN. Literally WHY?
-1080p Display is not great. Feels like a cheap TN panel, sharp but low color quality (even lower than my previous laptops' glossy TN panel). Gives me a headache when using the laptop for more than an hour.
-Poor touchpad design, entire touchpad is depressed when clicking, and there is lots of failures to detect the intended press (left or right). On top of that, there is no option to automatically disable the touchpad when a mouse is plugged in, so you have to disable it in Device Manager every time you plug in a mouse.
-Touchpad is not centered on the laptop, so your left hand is the only option when using it.

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Seagate Hybrid Drive  ST2000DX001 2TB MLC/8GB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s NCQ 3.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Tested my drive with WD Data lifeguard tools (Since I found out Seatools don't work in 64 bit windows...), no sector errors at all.

Performance is great even for a single HD, but the SSD cache makes this drive really pop. Having the SSD built in at the hardware level is very convenient, there's no fussing about setting up a separate SSD as a cache.

I can pull nearly the same sequential write/read speeds as 2 WD Caviar Blue's in Raid 0 (which is what I'm upgrading from). However, the Seagate boots MUCH MUCH faster thanks to vastly improved random read speed, plus of course the SSD cache. I went from a ~30 second boot in windows 8 to a ~15 second boot, including bios screens.

The SSHD's firmware seems much more solid than the older 2.5 models' firmware (I use one in my laptop). It has more reliably held the Windows boot files than the 2.5" models did, which is what I really want the SSD cache for.

This SSHD is a great option if you don't want to bother setting up a SSD cache, or would prefer to have them in the physical space of 1 drive.

Cons: Copying over 800GB in a single move resulted in a random reboot of the system. I'm not sure if this is a result of my Raid 0 array (which was showing indications of file system instability) or if it was the Seagate's SSD cache/firmware.

Other Thoughts: Was copying over large video files onto the fresh partition at around 165MB/s sustainably for over 1 hour!

Don't expect performance exactly like a SSD (I think this is why there are so many complaints about performance), the SSD is just a cache for often used files, you're going to be getting the HD's performance for most of your not-super-common tasks such as loading game levels or whatnot. The HD's performance is pretty good though, so it's nothing to worry about.

Bottom line: If you can afford the SSD and it has all the space you need, it's still a better choice. But if you can only afford a HD, there's absolutely no reason not to get this one.

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Devin O.'s Profile

Display Name: Devin O.

Date Joined: 05/23/09

  • Reviews: 49
  • Helpfulness: 27
  • First Review: 05/28/09
  • Last Review: 01/06/15
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